Albuquerque becomes an emerging 2030 District

Courtesy Albuquerque Business First.

By Damon Scott

September 24, 2014

The Architecture 2030 organization, which is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit seeking more environmentally friendly infrastructure, says the commercial building sector is the problem. And also the solution.

Why the problem? The group says buildings consume more energy than any other sector, including industrial and transportation. They cite the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s stats showing the sector consumes almost half of all energy produced in the U.S., including about 75 percent of all the electricity.

Why the solution? They say there’s an opportunity because by 2035 about 75 percent of the built environment will either be new or renovated. It’s a chance to transform the sector along the way to be more energy independent, say officials.

Architecture 2030 has set consumption targets in energy, water and vehicle emissions for cities that want to become 2030 Districts. Cities that already have established districts include Seattle, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Denver. The organization identified 10 additional cities as emerging 2030 Districts, and now Albuquerque is one of them.

“We are having our exploratory committee meeting today where we will be making some huge progressive leaps towards establishing Albuquerque’s district,” saidLaurie Tarbell, the vice president of DowntownABQ MainStreet. Tarbell is working with several stakeholders on the project, including building owners, city officials, the Downtown Action Team and Albuquerque’s MiABQ millennial group.

On the short-term agenda for Tarbell and the committee is to draw up the proposed district boundary lines and finalize outreach materials and a public outreach campaign.

Tarbell estimates that about 15 Albuquerque property owners have already signed on to the initiative, representing about 700,000 square feet of buildings.

In addition, Tarbell and others will promote an event next month in Albuquerque that will focus specifically on 2030 Districts. The Urban Land Institute’s New Mexico chapter is hosting the founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, Ed Mazira, on November 20.

(Original article can be found at http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2014/09/24/albuquerque-becomes-an-emerging-2030-district.html)